About the book (from Wikipedia):
The House of the Dead is a semi-autobiographical novel published in 1860–2 in the journal Vremya by Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky, which portrays the life of convicts in a Siberian prison camp. The novel has also been published under the titles Memoirs from the House of The Dead and Notes from the Dead House (or Notes from a Dead House). The book is a loosely-knit collection of facts, events and philosophical discussion organised by “theme” rather than as a continuous story. Dostoyevsky himself spent four years in exile in such a camp following his conviction for involvement in the Petrashevsky Circle. This experience allowed him to describe with great authenticity the conditions of prison life and the characters of the convicts.